North Cowichan chooses community engagement facilitator for forestry in the municipal forest reserve. (File photo)

North Cowichan chooses community engagement facilitator for forestry in the municipal forest reserve. (File photo)

North Cowichan picks company to consult with public on forestry

Public consultations to begin in new year

The Municipality of North Cowichan has awarded a contract for its public engagement on forestry to the Vancouver-based company Lees and Associates. A request for proposals was issued in September, closed in October, and eight strong proposals were received, according to a press release from North Cowichan.

Lees submitted the top-scoring proposal, showcasing the strengths and talents of their team. North Cowichan is one of the few communities that owns and manages forest lands for the benefit of residents.

The Municipal Forest Reserve occupies approximately 25 per cent of the land base in North Cowichan.

Revenues from the MFR have historically gone toward a forestry reserve fund, scholarships and bursaries, recreation, capital projects, and reducing the annual property tax levy by an average of $600,000 to $800,000 per year. Last winter, North Cowichan’s council began hearing from citizens interested in the municipality’s activities within the reserve.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN PLANS TO HAVE ENGAGEMENT FACILITATOR FOR FOREST RESERVE IN PLACE BY OCTOBER

As a result, council asked for a review of North Cowichan’s forestry operations and curtailed harvesting until such time as an interim and long-term forestry management plan could be implemented.

“Council directed staff to also perform deep and meaningful public engagement on the highest and best use of the forest in order to help inform the technical review process, and ultimately, the long-term forest management plan,” said Mayor Al Siebring.

The municipality is working with Dr. Stephan Sheppard, a professor at the University of British Columbia, the Coastal Douglas Fir Conservation Partnership, and 3GreenTree Consulting to perform a technical review and seek as many feasible management options as possible.

“Residents will have an opportunity to participate and provide input beginning in the New Year and there will be many different opportunities to engage,” Siebring said

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Cowichan Valley Arts Council is offering courses in drawing May through August 2021. (Submitted)
A&E column: Art is everywhere in the Cowichan Valley

What’s going in the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

The CVRD introduces new app to contact residents during emergencies, a tool that chairman Aaron Stone says will improve communications. (File photo)
CVRD launches new app to spread information during emergencies

Cowichan Alert is a free app that can be downloaded onto smartphones, computers

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

FILE PHOTO
Editorial: Time to roll up our sleeves and pitch in

They’re just not quite sure they want to get a vaccine — yet

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

Most Read